Failing with Grace


· resources,mental health

Aaaah, failure! It happens to us all. Why am I talking about failure as a writing tidbit? Well, often times in writing you have to fail a few times before you get something right. Many writers might talk about drafts that never see the light of day but rarely do we call them failures.

Over the course of 2020, I started at least three new book ideas and not one of them turned into anything more than a Google doc. Some didn’t make it past the first act, others I got nearly halfway through before they fizzled out. 

And yes, those books are currently failures. Some people might disagree with my choice of words. But…maybe there’s nothing wrong with failing? Maybe I needed to write all those partial books in order to work on a skill or just get some ideas out of my head (or deal with the pandemic in my own way). Maybe I’ll come back to them in a few years and turn them into books. Who knows?

My point is, it’s okay to fail. Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves was the fourth book I wrote. The first three might not all be failed books but they weren’t quite there yet. I know of some authors that write ten or more books before they write one that people notice. Writing is also learning and learning is always a process. 

And the only way to get better at anything is to fail at it a few times first. Even if it sucks. Even if you feel awful about it. No one likes the feeling of failing. But that is how we learn. Babies fall down when they learn to walk. Kids usually can’t tie their shoes on the first try. Just because you’re not a kid anymore, doesn’t mean you have to get everything right the first time. 

So, if you’re struggling or stuck or even failing at your writing, that’s okay. It’s not the end and you don’t have to give up. Failing is part of the process. The next step is getting back up. ♥

A version of this story appeared in Wolves and Wonder, my monthly newsletter that includes no nonsense writing advice along with book updates and sci-fi inspiration. Get it in your inbox; you’ll love it.